FAQ's and Bowls Scotland Club Helpline

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions: Last Updated 4pm on Monday 30th March 2020


  1. Will club capitation fees be given back to clubs/associations/affiliates?

Yes, clubs, associations and affiliates will receive a full refund of capitation. This includes membership fees, competition entries, tournament licenses, yearbook and merchandise. This will be processed as soon as we can, we would ask clubs to be patient while we do this as you will appreciate with over 900 clubs, associations, affiliates this will take weeks rather than days.


  1. Are we still able to run a Try Bowls event this season?

No. Bowls Scotland will not be accepting any applications from clubs for our Try Bowls programme for the foreseeable future. Any clubs who have already registered for a Try Bowls event will be emailed with more information.


  1. What will Bowls Scotland be advising to associations affiliated to them?

We will be advising Associations to follow the same guidance as we are asking clubs to follow.


  1. What information should we be telling our members?

First thing is to re-iterate to your members that their health and wellbeing is your club’s top priority. You can share any messages and communication that has come out from Government and inform members that this is unprecedented times. At all times, your members should adhere to Government advice. 


  1. Can the club still arrange and play friendly matches or competitions?

No, the Government announced on Monday 23rd March the following: Stay at home.

Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home); Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people; Wash your hands as soon as you get home.


  1. Can people still bowl at the club?

No, the Government announced on Monday 23rd March the following: Stay at home. Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home); Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people; Wash your hands as soon as you get home.


  1. Can groups and players still use the bar?

The Government announced on Friday 20th March that all licensed premises should shut.  Please follow government advice issued on Monday 23rd March to stay at home.


  1. How do we support our most vulnerable members?

We would encourage all our clubs to keep in contact with their members throughout this time. Think about support members with a telephone call to make sure members are ok and if they need anything. Look into any local support groups that might offer support with some of your more vulnerable members.


  1. Can community groups still use bowling club facilities?

Clubs should follow Government guidelines on this and ask community groups to do the same. 


  1. Is there financial support available from Bowls Scotland?

Bowls Scotland is looking at setting up a new Club Support Fund to assist clubs through this difficult period. We will also continue to work closely with the Scottish Government to identify any new funding and financial support/relief which will hopefully be made accessible to all sports clubs in Scotland. The Scottish Government has set up a helpline for Scottish businesses: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/


  1. What does this mean for staff employed by club? Payment of statutory sick pay and who pays this?

Clubs can find help, support and guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses


  1. Should the greenkeeper still cut the green?

Bowls Scotland has been liaising with the Scottish Government and our official partners Sports Turf Services to seek clarity on the guidance for the upkeep and maintenance of bowling facilities.

Greenkeepers can access club facilities:

Clubs should consider the following and risk assess appropriately, specifically if the greenkeeper is a club volunteer:

  • Does the greenkeeper fall into any of the high risk COVID-19 categories? If so, they should stay at home.
  • Can the volunteer practice safe social distancing and comply with ALL other standard health and safety requirements?
  • If the volunteer falls ill, what procedures are in place? For example a check in, check out system (a phone call to an agreed club official to ensure the greenkeeper is safe and well)
  • Is the volunteer willing and able to maintain the green?
  • What additional precautions can be implemented? E.g. cleaning all equipment after use, use of disposable gloves, hand washing regularly throughout, following guidance on filling up fuel etc.

A reminder that all greens should remain shut and closed for play as per Government guidelines.

For any clubs looking for extra green maintenance assistance, Sports Turf Services are offering free consultation and information to all Bowls Scotland’s members clubs – even if your green isn’t currently one of STS’s contracts.

Sports Turf Services contact details:


  1. Is there anyone to talk to defer payments for utilities?

Contact your utility company as soon as possible and ask what options are available to help throughout this time. Look at other suppliers’ rates and possibly change if there are better deals available. 


  1. Our club cannot afford upcoming bills what can we do?

Talk to your utility providers about what can be done. There are many relief packages being put together at this time. As well, talk to your local council to see if they can be of assistance. Bowls Scotland are currently working on producing more information in this area. Additional information can be found here: https://findbusinesssupport.gov.scot/coronavirus-advice


  1. Do we have the right insurance to cover losses from the Coronavirus?

We are aware that several insurance policies will not cover any bowling club affected by the Coronavirus. We would encourage clubs to contact their insurance companies as soon as possible to clarify.


  1. What can we do to make our club premises more secure?

Unfortunately, at this time, premises can be vulnerable to crime. Please ensure your property is safe and secured and if you are securing property contents elsewhere, please check with your insurer to ensure the policy is covered. We recommend checking if your insurer covers property that is empty/unused for a period of time.


  1. How can we still have our AGMs and other meetings?

There are a few phone (conference calls) or online (email and webinar) meeting facilities available: Zoom, Go-To-Webinar, Skype etc. Some are free, some have a cost attached. 

Our National Development Officer, Daniel Baker, has produced a video guide to help clubs set up video call meetings on Zoom. To watch this, please click here.


  1. What advice would go to clubs around members paying fees for the season ahead?

We are also encouraging all Scottish bowlers to, where possible, continue to pay their membership fees for the upcoming season to help your club manage through this unprecedented situation.


  1. If I've already paid my club fees should I be entitled to a refund?

This would be up to individual clubs; however, we would encourage clubs to ask members to not ask for a refund and continue to support their local club throughout this time.



  1. Will Stage 1 (District) and Stage 2 of the National Championships still go ahead?

Unfortunately, both stage 1 and stage 2 will not go ahead in 2020. Any clubs that have paid entry fees to the National Championships will receive a refund. This will be processed as soon as we can, we would ask clubs to be patient while we do this.


  1. If a player won the National Championships in 2019 when will they get to play British Isles; will this be 2021?

We will await further instruction from BIBC/BIWBC on when the British Isles Championships could take place. This could potentially be later this year if that is an option or in 2021. Bowls Scotland will contact the players directly with further information when we know more.


  1. If I won my club ties in 2019 will I play national playdown championships in 2021?

The method of selection of players for National Championships shall be left to the discretion of the member club. All players selected must be members of the club they are chosen to represent. (National Championships Rule 3.8)


  1. What about our open tournaments where we have paid a licence fee?

Clubs will be refunded their licence fee for any open competitions that they registered with us and made payment for. This will be processed as soon as we can, we would ask clubs to be patient while we do this.


  1. What happens if the season opens back up later in the year and competitions run in August/September?

Bowls Scotland will continue to monitor the situation and update as soon as we more information.



  1. Will the Andrew Hamilton and Ladies National Top Ten be played?

Both competitions will not go ahead in 2020 – Ladies & Gents Associations that have affiliated and paid entry fees into these competitions will receive a refund. This will be processed as soon as we can, we would ask clubs to be patient while we do this. Non-Association entries will also receive a refund.


  1. Will there be any Competitions this year?

Depending on further recommendations from the government there may be an opportunity for Bowls Scotland to launch an open competition later in the year if it is deemed safe to do so. Further details will be released if this becomes an option for us.



  1. Will the BIBC/BIWBC Internationals take place this year?

All BIBC & BIWBC Championships & International Series except for the BIBC Junior Internationals in September have been cancelled. The BIBC/BIWBC Statement can be found here



  1. Should I still send in my BIBC/BIWBC application for Trials?

We have now stopped the application process for 2020. When a decision is made from BIBC regarding the Junior Internationals in September we will communicate this out through our website and social media channels.



  1. Will the Linda Brennan U25 Pairs competition go ahead?

This competition has been postponed for this year. Entries to this competition have now been stopped. As this was a qualifying event for the BIWBC Junior Championships we will await further instructions from BIWBC as to when the next U25 Championship event is due to take place.


High Performance:

  1. What is happening with World Championships?

Both indoor and outdoor World Championships have been postponed.  Bowls Scotland have contacted all players and coaches due to be involved. Updates will be provided as we get them from World Bowls. The IBD World Championships due to take place in Christchurch in November 2020 have been postponed. Updates will be provided as we get them from World Bowls.


  1. Will the Para Home Nations take place?

Bowls Scotland will review whether the Para Home Nations event due to take place at the National Centre for Bowling, Ayr, in September will go ahead. As soon as we know further information, we will share it with our players and members. 


  1. When will squad sessions be taking place?

Bowls Scotland are working on several contingency plans to provide sessions when it is safe to do so. Players will be updated when more information is provided by Government. 



Bowls Scotland Helpline:

If club officials require additional support and guidance that cannot be found in the FAQ's, please contact the following National Development Officers:

We anticipate that there will be a high volume of calls and emails so we ask for your patience at this time and the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

If you have any urgent requests please send them via email to info@bowlsscotland.com or phone the office in the usual manner on 01292 294623.


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